First of all, new layout! I know the previous one was only up for a month, but my amazingly talented sister (FOLLOW HER ON INSTAGRAM!) drew this beautiful illustration at just the right time. I fell out of love with the last layout rather quickly; it lacked personality and made my site look a little too drab, I later realized. So when Baaj emailed me this adorable and Rafia-esque illustration, I didn’t care that I physically felt like death, the new layout was going up ASAP!
Look at it. It’s beautiful, isn’t it? I am not ashamed to say that because I did not make it ;)
So, what’s this whole business about pants, you ask? I guess you could say that I change my layouts as often as I change my pants. Har-dee-har-dee-har.
Okay, that analogy was a forced attempt to string together what will be a rather haphazard post. But bear with me. The layout and pants do have some sort of connection, which I will attempt to explain presently. Because along with this new and beautiful header image, my sister also sent me this pic from July 2012.
This must have been a few months before I stopped wearing pants completely, a three-year period of my past that still haunts me.
If this is not the first blog post of mine you’ve read, then you’d know that I’ve started wearing pants again. “Whoop-dee-doo! Rafia, you really weren’t exaggerating when you say you always make a mountain out of a molehill. But this is a bit much, even for you,” I can hear your thoughts loud and clear.
See, my decision to stop wearing pants was made out of fear and being pants-shamed (it’s a thing, at least among Muslims). One comment from a parent at the Islamic School I used to work at is what triggered, what I can finally call in retrospect, an entire negation of my sense of self. I stopped wearing pants – that was the external. But I also stopped listening to music, I stopped singing, I stopped eating sugar around this time, too. In essence, I stopped being myself.
I look at this photo now and am angry at myself for allowing that woman to enter my mind and convince me that I ever dressed immodestly. Her actual words were “Haraam dressing,” which made me feel like I was committing a sin for wearing pants.
Though thankfully I eventually left that toxic environment – it literally took a seizure for me to make that much-needed change in my life – I still encounter this warped kind of thinking occasionally. Her words have stayed with me unconsciously ever since.
No more. It’s been about a year since I’ve started wearing pants again, but it’s been a slow process. This photo emboldens me to start wearing them metaphorically as well. In a mad dash, I made it my Whatsapp profile, uploaded it on IG. It moved me so much that I had to blog about it.
So, yes. Thanks, Baaj – for this new layout and for the photo. My sister is a catalyst for positive change! See? It all came together ;)